Moscow, 14 October 2020 (dpa/MIA) – A Soyuz rocket blasted off Wednesday carrying two Russian cosmonauts and a US astronaut for a three-hour flight to the International Space Station, where they are to remain through the first months of 2021.
Ahead of the launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the crew – Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Russia and Kate Rubins of the United States – spent more than a month in precautionary quarantine and were tested for the coronavirus several times.
The trio’s launch took place as scheduled at 0545 GMT with picture-perfect weather on the grassland steppes of the Central Asian nation.
“The International Space Station is probably now the safest place to be,” Ryshikov said recently, referring to the pandemic on Earth.
Before joining the US space agency NASA, Rubins worked as a microbiologist and was involved in research on viruses. This is her second mission to the space station.
Upon arrival Rubin and her Soyuz seatmates will be greeted by a three-person crew that is due to leave the space station later this month.